Hand-me-down clothing, buying second hand, buying local, buying quality that lasts and using what you have is what Slow Fashion is all about.
What is “Fast Fashion?”
Perhaps the best way to describe “slow fashion” is to explain what “fast fashion” is first.
Fast fashion is rapid manufacture of clothing to capture fashion trends. It is fashion that is designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively often using cheaper plastic-based materials that encourage brief fashion trends that will be discarded each season.
In manufacturing, the fashion industry is known as the most labour dependent industry and fast fashion contributes to poor working conditions in developing countries.
At the buyer end, fashion goods are purchased even when the old ones are still wearable. As result, excessive stock and untrendy clothes tends to end up in landfills. Some higher end fashion houses even choose to burn unsold stock rather than reduce the price or donate the items in order to protect the brand’s exclusivity and value.
What is “Slow Fashion”
The Slow Fashion movement has arisen in opposition to fast fashion. Where classic style that lasts is embraced. Natural more expensive fibres to create clothing are often used and the buying second hand items is encouraged and clothes swapping the norm.
Clothing is ethically sourced, and workers are given a living wage, no child labour is used and the environment is considered during the manufacturing of clothes. Using what you have, and mending items is also standard practice to increase the longevity of clothing.
How do I buy “Slow Fashion?”
Buying classic clothes that last
Clothes that last is a strange phenomenon when your child will have grown out of them before they ever have the chance to wear them out. But the idea is that that pair of pants, t-shirt or party dress will last for many different children and have years and years of use by multiple families. So, if you are buying new, try and opt for well made, quality items that will last.
Buying second hand
There are so many clothes in existence today. Just think about how many new clothing items are made per person in this country. Do we need an entirely new wardrobe each and every season? More importantly, does your baby?
There are SO MANY second-hand clothes out there for babies. Look for good quality fabric with natural fibres.
Receiving hand-me-down clothing is amazing. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to go. Put the word out to your friends and family on social media that you would be more than happy with everyone’s hand me down clothing for your baby. Some people are hesitant to gift second hand items as they are unsure if the recipient would accept them. Make everyone aware that you would love to receive second hand items and you will be inundated with clothing.
Once baby clothing has been used and you do not wish to part with it for sentimental reasons, why not upcycle it into something else. You could make a small pillow from a couple of t-shirts. Create a keepsake quilt that will last for generations to come. There are also numerous businesses that create dolls and stuffed animals from scraps of old fabric.
Mending items has become such a foreign pastime. But it can be so rewarding and satisfying extending the life of an item and delaying its eventual resting place to landfill.
Designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity plus also repurposing, reusing, swapping and buying second-hand are things we can all do to extend the use of our children’s clothes. Using what we have and buying second hand not only is better for our bank balance, but it is better for our planet.
Buy clothing with a sustainable approach and reject the throwaway nature of the clothing industry.